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cultural exchange

by the stormy present Mon Dec 10th, 2007 at 05:21:40 AM EST

So, these three cartoonists walk into a bar...  Two of them are Danish.  The third is Lebanese.  Heheheh.  

It doesn't really need a punchline, does it?

The project:  two Danish cartoonists and a Lebanese cartoonist get together for a week in Beirut.  They talk.  They drink.  They draw together.  The collaborative results are published over the course of seven days in both newspapers -- Information in Denmark and Al-Akhbar ("The News") in Beirut.

It just so happens that the Lebanese illustrator, Mazen Kerbaj, is one of my all-time favorites.  He's not really just a cartoonist.  He's an artist, a social commentator.  Oh, and a musician.

Anyway, they get to everything, from politics...
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... to cigarette smoking (which everyone in Beirut does, but apparently not all Danish cartoonists)...
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... to, oh, everything.  The results are not always 100 percent successful, but there's enough wry humor in there to last for a week, easy.  Just go read them.

Bonus cartoon from Al-Akhbar.  (Remember, with Arabic cartoons, you have to read from right to left.)

Lebanese Politics for Kids!

Hat tip to friday lunch club.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Mon Dec 10th, 2007 at 05:25:50 AM EST
Not just for kids, I think.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Dec 10th, 2007 at 05:39:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And not just for Lebanon.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Mon Dec 10th, 2007 at 05:39:45 AM EST
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Hint:  In order to actually read the comics, you have to go to the large version of each one, because the default medium version is a bit too small to be legible.  It's a little extra clicking, but IMV worth it...
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Mon Dec 10th, 2007 at 07:59:13 AM EST
A counterpoint to LAAF?

Anyway, I love it. Just love it. Thank you, stormy.

And just to be antagonist... Consider: would this collaboration have happened (or highlighted) if the Danish cartoons controversy hadn't appeared?

There's a time for shock and bulls on steroids in china shops; and there's a time for diplomacy and exchange of thoughts and cultural intelligence. The world needs both.

Crap, I can't even manage my way on the Al-Akhbar website... Now I feel... blond.

by Nomad on Mon Dec 10th, 2007 at 10:57:37 AM EST
Heheh.  It's really just a coincidence, as I only just saw these cartoons for the first time today and had been meaning to write about Mazen's work for like the past year anyway.  But I did note that the timing in relation to your diary was... fortuitous.

I suspect the collaboration might have happened without the Danish cartoons controversy, but it might not have been paid any attention to.  Mazen has spent a fair amount of time in Europe, and has done some "Arab in Europe" work predating this collaboration.  His work is usually in Arabic, but when he posts something online he generally translates it himself into English and/or French, so it seems clear that he expects some degree of cross-cultural interest.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Mon Dec 10th, 2007 at 12:40:37 PM EST
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